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Please, yes, don't do this - Hawk's Eyrie
It's all about releasing your inner sociopath
Please, yes, don't do this
15 Things Not to Say to Someone With RA

If you swap out Rheumatoid Arthritis with almost any other chronic issues, the advice remains the same.

Even with all my experience in having chronic issues, I'm guilty of not being perfect in my interactions. #15 is the worst, for me - many times (but not always) I give open-ended offers of help, rather than specifics. But when I know something I can do specifically that I can offer, I do offer that.

For me, the thing that will make me want to hurt you the most? The "you're too young" or the "I know someone who has it worse than you".

So. Fucking. What? It doesn't make me feel better that others are worse off, it just makes me feel as if I'm "complaining" too much/not deserving of help, regardless of whether or not it's true. And the you're too young? I've even gotten that from good doctors. Why does it matter that I'm too young? I have the issue, I'm obviously a statistical outlier, let's go from there and fix it and stop harping about how I shouldn't have these issues at my age. If more doctors had listened to my symptoms, rather than paid attention to my age, most of my problems would never have gotten as bad as they have.

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7 talons or Rake your talons?
missysedai From: missysedai Date: February 23rd, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
The "you're too young" or the "I know someone who has it worse than you".

So much hate for that nonsense. Am I glad I'm pretty mildly afflicted? Yes. Does someone else having it worse make mine hurt any less or make mine less stressful? Fuck no.

My favorite is "But you don't LOOK sick!" Argh.
merhawk From: merhawk Date: February 23rd, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
See my rant below about the "don't look sick" canard.

And, even when people really are trying to make you feel better by knowing it could be worse? You're 100% right. It. Does. Not. Help. One. Damn. Bit.
From: scifantasy Date: February 23rd, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
I've never understood the impulse to say many of those things. Yes, I admit, I am guilty of the "let me know if I can help" one, less because of a chronic ailment in particular and more because that's just how I am, though I have been trying to tone it down. Or, as you say, help in specific ways--"here, I'll carry that" or the like.

But besides that one, I read that list and wonder what people who say those things are thinking. Anything involving treatment (the danger of drugs or recommendations or how much or exercise or so on), I'm just not qualified to speak on. Doubly so for "it's all in your head" and "but you look fine." How should I know the truth? I don't have the condition. And anything of the "it could be worse" nature is begging for a punch in the face, followed by "at least I didn't kick you in the stomach too!"

What is wrong with these people?
From: scifantasy Date: February 23rd, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
"These people" equals the speakers, of course.
merhawk From: merhawk Date: February 23rd, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
That was understood.
merhawk From: merhawk Date: February 23rd, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
There's a variety of reasons people do the "I have/know someone who has it worse" & "You don't look sick"!

Some people think that makes you feel better (it rarely does). Others just aren't thinking (obviously). Others have a need to one-up on any complaint. Just as annoying, there are those who also have chronic issues who feel that if they've managed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, use their willpower, and don't complain, then you have no right to, either. You're just being wimpy by commenting or not doing something.

The "You don't look sick"... I've never had someone say that to me, per se. My boss, however, did comment to me that "At first I didn't believe what you were saying. I don't believe my wife when she complains about pain, either, and...". Really? You've known me for over 10 years. In all that time, how often do I exaggerate? Am I known for lying? Sure, fine, I won't tell you I'm upset at you (which he asked me not to do so he could be "candid"), but that lack of trust? That's the kick in the gut.

I know I don't look sick. I work very hard, every day, to look as healthy as possible. It's fine that others don't acknowledge that; I don't need them to. However, if I tell people who know me that I'm not doing well, I expect them to generally believe me and act accordingly. Not pretend, over about a year's time, to have believed me and then come out later with actual belief and a comment of how you didn't really believe before.
From: scifantasy Date: February 24th, 2011 12:16 am (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Wow, yeah, that was pretty harsh.

It occurred to me later that "you don't look sick" can be said wonderingly, not just skeptically (which is how I heard it in that first case). If wonderingly, it could be "I never would have guessed," which could be intended as a compliment (as in, "you hide it well" or perhaps "you manage to do a lot despite it, go you!"). Or, for that matter, apologetically, in the "sorry I didn't realize/account for it before now, I didn't know because you hide it so well" sense.

Still and all, it seems just a dumb thing to say.
7 talons or Rake your talons?